Will Obamacare cover alternative medicine? - DEBATED
General Reference (not clearly pro or con)
The American Holistic Health Association posted on its webpage "AHHA Featured Issue July 20, 2012," available at www.ahha.org:
"Will more complimentary and alternative medicine (CAM) type healthcare modalities be covered by ACA? This could happen if the healthcare providers are licensed professionals. But this doesn't look very promising. Federal subsidies for state Medicaid programs can only be used for ‘essential health benefits,' which are defined as medically necessary services. States will not be reimbursed for CAM services, which at best cover licensed chiropractors and acupuncturists and only for a limited number of visits.
The ACA [Affordable Care Act] is touted as expanding the reach of innovative, preventive and treatments that promote healing and health. A review of the law shows, however, that the only wellness and preventive items covered are standard medical screenings and immunizations, and these only if delivered by licensed medical personnel."
The Society for Medical Anthropology stated on its webpage "Health Insurance Reform," available at www.medanthro.net (accessed Sep. 5, 2012):
"At present, there is no universal standard for what constitutes ‘minimum essential coverage,' and there is some indication that states will be granted considerable discretion in defining it. How will dental care, mental health care, and complementary/alternative medicine (CAM) be incorporated—or not—into the standard of ‘minimum essential coverage'? Despite increasing evidence of their roles in preventive care and chronic disease management, a key priority of the Act, it remains to be seen whether these services—currently marginally covered by insurance plans and primarily paid out-of-pocket—will be incorporated into emergent health insurance schemes."
Will Obamacare cover alternative medicine? - DEBATED
John Weeks, Publisher and Editor of "Integrator Blog News & Reports," wrote in his May 6, 2012 article "The Supreme Court and Health Reform: Much Is at Stake for Integrative Medicine," available at www.huffingtonpost.com:
"Over the last 30 years, many so-called complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) or integrative health care practitioners have gained or advanced inclusion in state licensing, state-mandated insurance coverage schemes and other state policies such as pain commissions and loan forgiveness for serving the undeserved. Among these are chiropractors, massage therapists, acupuncturists, direct-entry midwives and naturopathic doctors… Section 3502 of the law [PPACA], on patient-centered medical homes (PCMHs), specifically denotes that these multidisciplinary practices may include chiropractors and licensed complementary and alternative medicine practitioners in their community-based, team care models.”
The Consortium of Academic Health Centers for Integrative Medicine (CAHCIM), in an Aug. 13, 2012 article, "Consortium of Academic Health Centers for Integrative Medicine Declares Support for Affordable Care Act's Non-discrimination Section Urged by Licensed CAM Professionals," available at www.integrativepractitioner.com, stated:
"The Consortium of Academic Health Centers for Integrative Medicine (CAHCIM) sent a July 6, 2012 newsletter to members in support of 'the historic Supreme Court ruling upholding the Affordable Care Act' and which 'expands health care coverage to millions of Americans.' The notice shared that one reason for the support is that 'the Act provides third party payer coverage for any health professional licensed in a given state.' (Section 2706, Non-Discrimination in Health Care, would require inclusion of licensed complementary and alternative healthcare professionals in coverage schemes.)
The CAHCIM newsletter also shared that the vision of the Consortium is aligned with the law's expansion of 'the reach of innovative preventive and treatment approaches designed to help Americans achieve better health through integrated approaches that promote healing and health in every individual and community.'"
Erik Goldman, Editor of HolisticPrimaryCare.net,“ was quoted in a July 19, 2012 article "Affordable Care Act and Access to Integrative Medicine-What Does it Really Mean?," by Glen Sabin, Board Member of the Society for Integrative Oncology, available at www.fontherapeutics.com:
"It [ACA] really doesn't provide much fiscal support for holistic services. The health insurance industry has made a miserable hash out of conventional medicine - which already has a reductionist, treat-the-numbers, protocol-driven mindset. One can reasonably expect that this effect will be even worse on holistic/functional/integrative medicine because insurance plan thinking is quite antithetical to holistic, individualized, health-oriented thinking.”
Jann Bellamy, JD, Founder of the Campaign for Science-Based Healthcare, in an Oct. 4, 2012 article "Obamacare and CAM [Complementary Alternative Medicine] II: Discrimination (or Not) Against CAM," available at www.sciencebasedmedicine.org, wrote:
"…now that everyone will have insurance coverage, I wonder how long it will take patients to figure out that, if they go to an M.D., D.O., or A.R.N.P as their PCP [Primary Care Physician], their diagnosis and treatment is covered, but when they go to an N.D. [Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine] as their PCP, not all of their diagnoses and treatments are covered."